Ralph Kershaw Hook
1931 - 2021
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Ralph Kershaw Hook

Tallahassee - Ralph Kershaw Hook left this earth in peace on April 1, 2021, at 90 years of age. Ralph was born in Gainesville, Florida on March 10, 1931 to Cecil and Edith Hook. He was the younger brother of Gracie and John. The Hook family lived in Melrose, Florida.

Ralph attended High School and worked repairing bicycles in Gainesville. Later, he attended the University of Florida where he was enrolled in the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). He graduated with a degree in Animal Husbandry and entered the U.S. Army as a commissioned 2nd lieutenant.

While serving as an artillery officer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Ralph met and married Kay Kinmonth. Together they had two children, Rebecca (Becky) Lynn and Stanley Brett. Ralph was a widower, as Kay passed when the children were young.

As a single parent, Ralph continued excelling in his military career with stations in Europe, Southeast Asia, and a stint as an ROTC Coordinator.

During his travels, mutual acquaintances introduced him to Barbara Borden Stoneburner, a widow of a career Army officer who was killed in Viet Nam. Barbara had also been living as a single parent with three children. Leslie Ellen, Janine Claire, and Karl Sander, joined Ralph's children, Becky and Brett, when Ralph and Barbara married. The family continued living on Army bases until Colonel Hook retired, ending 23 years military service. With the girls out on their own, Brett and Karl moved with Ralph and Barbara to live on 28 acres outside of Monticello, Florida.

Ralph enjoyed life as a gentleman farmer. Ralph also commuted to Tallahassee where he was first on the staff of the Department of Agriculture and then the Department of Community Affairs. The family attended Monticello First United Methodist Church where Ralph served on several boards and as an usher. Ralph also actively served with many community service organizations, to include ECHO, Ability First, and the Area Agency on Aging. He enjoyed hunting, woodworking, reading and fishing. In addition, he enriched the lives of others through multiple missionary trips to South America and Cuba to build schools and churches.

Ralph and Barbara sold the Monticello farm and moved to Tallahassee to be closer to their Florida family. They joined St. Paul's United Methodist Church where Ralph continued to usher. He continued to be a leader and major contributor to multiple non-profit service organizations to include the Elder Care Florida, Habitat for Humanity, and the Alzheimer's Project.

Ralph was preceded in death by Barbara and is survived by their five children, nine grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.

A memorial service and interment will be held, on Thursday, April 8, at 10:00 AM, at Culley's MeadowWood Funeral Home, 700 Timberlane Road, Tallahassee. A brief reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, a generous donation to the Alzheimer's Project (www.alzheimersproject.org), will be greatly appreciated.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat from Apr. 4 to Apr. 5, 2021.
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April 6, 2021
I knew Ralph Hook from the time we both worked for the Florida Division of State Planning. He was a gentleman.
—Paul Darst
Paul Darst
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